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  • REGISTER TODAY!

    May 15, 2015


    Please join us as we celebrate the DVBIA's 25th Anniversary and showcase the very best of our downtown. This year's Appreciation Award recipients include renowned landscape architect Cornelia Oberlander, Vancouver Art Gallery Director Kathleen Bartels, commercial real estate magnate Cadillac Fairview, and media outlet extraordinaire Vancity Buzz.

    If free cocktails and canapés aren't enough, rub shoulders with downtown leaders, learn more about the organization, and have your say in the future of the downtown by participating in this year's AGM.

    Hold the date: Thursday, June 18 from 4-6pm at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

    Registration for the AGM is now closed.

     

  • 2015 Tourism Challenge

    May 15, 2015

    Granville Street

    This is our first year as a host attraction in the Tourism Challenge and we are so excited to have you!

    To get two stamps for your passport, we invite you to do a super easy 10-15 min scavenger hunt in our neighbourhood. It begins at the Pacific Centre Guest Services Desk (Downstairs in the mall).

    ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN
    A DOWNTOWN EXPERIENCE PRIZE PACKAGE WORTH $500

    Step 1: Snap a selfie with a WRAP box.
    Step 2: Post it to Facebook or Instagram and use #discoveryourhood and #downtownvan to enter the contest. The picture must be “public” so we can see that it has been posted. Photo contest open to everyone but ends on May 31, 2015.

    Ambassador Instagram

    Other neighbourhoods hosting photo contests are Gastown, Chinatown, Gastown, Main Street, Yaletown and the West End.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE:

    Do our Downtown Ambassador Passport Challenge while you are out on the scavenger hunt! Find a Downtown Ambassador in their BLUE uniform outside the Vancouver City Centre Canada Line Station from 12pm – 4pm daily. Complete a 2 minute questionnaire to get one stamp for your passport. Easy Peasy.


  • Downtown Jazz Now 4 Days

    May 11, 2015


    The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival is back for its 30th year! With over 1800 artists, 300 performances and 35 venues, this year’s festival promises not to disappoint. Spanning two full weeks (June 18 – July 1), the festival boasts an exciting headlining cast including Grammy winners Erykah Badu, The Roots, Buddy Guy and Pink Martini. Many free concerts will be held at outdoor and indoor venues throughout downtown, including Downtown Jazz at the Vancouver Art Gallery/Robson Square (June 18-21) and David Lam Park Jazz Weekend (June 27-28). Be sure to make it to a concert or two, the Jazz Festival will have you grooving to the music! Check out www.coastaljazz.ca for the full line up and more information.

  • BIKE TO WORK WEEK

    May 11, 2015

    Strap on your helmet and join your fellow Vancouverites in shrinking your environmental footprint, saving gas or transit fare, and get some exercise on your way to work. On May 25th-31st, participate in Bike to Work Week as an individual, or encourage your co-workers to register as a team. Last year, participants cycled over 950,000 kilometers and saved over $61,000. With close to 11,000 participants already registered, Bike to Work Week 2015 is shaping up to be bigger than ever. Plan your route beforehand so you can be sure to stop by a Celebration Station near your work for free snacks, coffee, bike repairs, and more. Bike to Work BC is also hosting a free BBQ Wrap-Up Party for bike commuters on Friday, May 29th at Creekside Park! Check out www.biketowork.ca for registration, helpful tips, bike routes, and contest giveaways.

  • SUPREME COURT RULING APPEALED

    May 08, 2015

    The Downtown Vancouver BIA has filed a Notice of Appeal in the April 10, 2015 BC Supreme Court decision in the case against its Downtown Ambassador program.

    The DVBIA believes the BC Supreme Court judge erred in her decision and her ruling creates uncertainty for its Ambassador program. The DVBIA has up to 90 days to file its detailed reasons for appealing.

    The DVBIA believes the BC Human Rights Tribunal decision of 2012 that dismissed the complaint against the program should stand. The Court of Appeal will be asked to restore this ruling. That decision was based on the testimony of 17 supporting witnesses over a 20-day hearing.

    In both 2009 and 2010, the DVBIA sought to resolve the claim with the plaintiffs through mediation, but were turned down. Mediation is not being considered at this time.

    “Since 2008, this legal action has done nothing to address the real issue of homelessness,” says Charles Gauthier, DVBIA President & CEO. “By filing this appeal, we want to address the legislative ambiguity the BC Supreme Court ruling creates and get back to working with our community partners to support those who are most vulnerable in our community.”

    Read more background.

     
  • WHY I’VE VOTED YES

    May 07, 2015


    As a Vancouver resident who recently moved downtown, I’m voting Yes because one day I want Vancouver’s transit to be compared to the systems in Copenhagen, Berlin, Hong Kong or London. 
    Transit is already over-crowded, and we need to accommodate more people. I plan to introduce cycling to my lifestyle, and a more comprehensive network of bike lanes will be a big impetus in making that happen. Even drivers will benefit from reduced congestion and upgraded roads and bridges. We’re talking about half a percent on the sales tax! That’s a small price to pay for keeping our city healthy and beautiful.

    Rachelle Jones, Downtown Resident/Worker (full disclosure: also a DVBIA employee!)

    Close to 38% of eligible voters have sent in their ballots – have you? If you didn’t receive a package or misplaced yours, you have until May 15 to contact Elections BC to request one. www.elections.bc.ca

  • THE DOWNTOWN AMBASSADORS

    May 05, 2015


    Have you ever noticed those folks in blue, just wandering around the downtown? No, we're all not seeing smurfs. These are the Downtown Ambassadors! The Ambassadors are your go-to source of information for Downtown Vancouver. Whether you are wondering about what's happening, or for a restaurant recommendation, they know it all.

    The Downtown Ambassadors Program is comprised of 12 full-time paid Ambassadors who are trained to provide hospitality assistance and business referrals to the DVBIA area. The Ambassadors patrol on foot, 12 hours every day, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. For assistance or a referral, call or text 604-689-4357.

    The next time you see an Ambassador make sure you say hi. They're super friendly and here to help YOU.



  • BC Culture Days – Play Your Part!

    May 05, 2015


    Culture Days
     is a collaborative, Canada-wide volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. As a grassroots, collaborative movement, Culture Days relies on your participation. Whether as an arts or cultural organization, an artist, a municipality, a school, a citizen, a business person…everyone can play a role in shaping this event. So get involved! 

    This year’s Culture Days weekend will take place on September 25, 26 & 27. The event will feature free, hands-on, interactive activities that invite the public to participate “behind the scenes”—and to discover the world of artists, creators, historians, architects, curators, and designers at work in their community. Any arts or cultural activity — professional, community, amateur, educational, etc. — can be listed and promoted as part of Culture Days as long as it meets the basic criteria:

    • Free to the public;
    • Takes place September 25, 26 and/or 27, 2015;
      Involves audience participation or reveals a behind-the-scenes aspect to give the public a better understanding of the inner world of arts and culture; and
    • Is a registered activity at culturedays.ca.

    Promotion through national and regional campaigns will enable the public to learn about your activity online. Registering your activity is free! Consider one of these popular and successful past Culture Days activities:

    • Product Sampling
    • Behind-the-scenes tour
    • Free class or service
    • Demonstrations

    Registration is easy! All you need to do is:

    1. Go to Culturedays.ca click “Present an Activity” to create an account.
    2. Add your activity. If there is more than one thing happening at your venue, list them as separate activities.
    3. Upload a picture.
    4. Write an enticing description.
    5. Click “Publish” for your activity to appear live on the Culture Days website.

    For more information, please contact Culture Days BC Coordinator, Nazanin Shoja at
    culturedays@allianceforarts.com or 604-681-3535 ext 214.

     

  • CITY OF BHANGRA FESTIVAL

    May 05, 2015

    Bhangra
    Photo Credit: Joe Carlson
     
    Ready for a 10-day, all-out dance party showcasing the beats of bhangra?

    Don’t miss City of Bhangra Festival 2015, May 28-June 6. On indoor and outdoor stages in parks, clubs, and classrooms, the Festival features hundreds of local and international artists performing new and traditional dance forms from around the world. The Festival finishes with Downtown Bhangra—a two-day open-stage extravaganza with non-stop music and dance in the heart of Downtown Vancouver. Bring the whole family to the VAG plaza on June 5 and 6 to experience big beats and electrifying performances you’ll never forget!

    For full Festival details, visit VIBC.ORG.

  • WHY I’M VOTING YES

    Apr 26, 2015


    As someone who provides assistance on the streets of Downtown Vancouver, I’m seeing more traffic congestion and pedestrian accidents. Better transit would reduce congestion, and help make our streets safer. I particularly see a need for more buses, which are often crowded – especially during the summer when people are enjoying our local beaches. I’m voting Yes because a 25% increase is bus capacity throughout the region will make Downtown more livable to residents, and more enjoyable for visitors. It will be beneficial to both drivers and those who use public transit.


    Melinda Epifano, Downtown Ambassador

    Hear why Yasmine is also voting Yes.

  • WHY I’M VOTING YES

    Apr 20, 2015
    Glenn Gardner

    Transportation impacts everybody – businesses and individuals. Better transportation will reduce congestion and environmental impact, help businesses attract employees, and increase the connectivity of the Lower Mainland. To grow as a world-class city, we need a world-class transit system. I’m fortunate to live close to my office in Downtown Vancouver, but I rely on Skytrain to attend regular meetings in Metrotown. I’m voting Yes because Downtown will be even better-connected to other part of Metro Vancouver, which is good for business. The wheel is in motion, and we need to maintain that momentum.
    Glenn Gardner, Principal, Avison Young

    Share the facts about why voting Yes is so important to the future of our region. Tools and resources are available through the Better Transit & Transportation Coalition.

     

  • DOXA Documentary Film Festival

    Apr 13, 2015

    DoXA
    The 14th Annual DOXA Festival features some of the most extraordinary films from around the world. From politics to pranksters, and one really angry milkman, this year’s Spotlight shines a light on those folks who like to upend the established order of things. Even documentary is not immune, with films that blur the lines of the genre itself. DOXA's Justice Forum andRated Y for Youth programs return this year along with two exceptional curated programs - French French and Wild Grass: New Chinese Images. Screenings, panels, and even a live comedy presentation from the National Film Board of Canada are all part of the action. Join us as we celebrate the entire DOXA lineup! The full program is available online at:www.doxafestival.ca

  • WHY I’M VOTING YES: GARY POONI

    Apr 13, 2015

    Gary Pooni
    The transit plebiscite is a watershed moment for the future of Vancouver. I’m voting Yes because I want to do something positive for my son’s generation, which is less reliant on personal vehicles. As an urban planner, I’m concerned about the long-term social, environmental and economic health of Metro Vancouver. We’re a land-constrained region, so we can only create more housing through multi-family developments. Transit hubs create mini urban villages, which lead to opportunities for both housing and jobs. This vote is not about accepting a small, incremental tax; it’s an investment that we are all making for the health of the region.
     
    Gary Pooni, President, Brook Pooni Associates
     
    Note: If you haven’t received a ballot, or if you misplaced your ballot, contact Elections BC. You have until May 15 to ask for a voting package – www.elections.bc.ca

  • AMBASSADOR CASE SENT BACK

    Apr 11, 2015

    Downtown Ambassadors
    The BC Supreme Court has sent a case against the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association's (DVBIA) Downtown Ambassador program back to the BC Human Rights Tribunal for review.
     
    In 2012, the Tribunal ruled that Downtown Ambassadors did not engage in systemic discrimination against homeless people, Aboriginal people and drug users as alleged by Pivot Legal Society and the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users.
     
    The DVBIA Board of Directors and its legal representation are reviewing the decision released on Friday, April 10, and considering next steps.
     
    The Association continues to have full confidence in the 15-year-old program that has served the community and all its members well. Over the years the program has evolved to keep current with training and members’ needs.
     
    The program continues to be the most visible and highly rated program by the Association’s 8,000 members.

  • BMO Vancouver Marathon

    Apr 08, 2015

    Vancouver Marathon
    Responding to demand and cementing its global reputation as a top destination race weekend, the BMO Vancouver Marathon has expanded to include new race experiences for new, emerging, and experienced runners.
     
    For the goal-driven athlete, the 42.1km Marathon is the marquee event offering runners a bucket-list experience in their hometown.

    The 21.1km Half Marathon is a stunning downhill run weaving through Vancouver’s downtown core, perfect for runners wanting to push past the 10km goal and succeed at a new distance.

    The 8KM run through Stanley Park introduces new runners to marathon weekend and the thrill of the downtown Finish Line. The new 2.5km Kids Run offers youngsters a taste of the big weekend, with bibs, medals, water station, and post-race runners compound.

    And finally, a new Marathon Relay is a team-based experience providing runners a glimpse of the marathon distance, without the commitment to 42.1 km! Marathon Relay teams can consist of 2-4 people, with distances of 5km – 13km. Perfect for corporate groups or teams.
     
    Also new for 2015, the three-day BMO Vancouver Marathon Health, Sport & Lifestyle Expo moves to the Vancouver Convention Centre West from April 30 – May 2.

    With 70,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor activation and exhibit space, the expo has attracted over 100 exhibitors and brands who will animate the experience for runners and their families, and will be a hub for locals to learn more about new and
    innovative health, sports and lifestyle products. The three-day Expo is a FREE event now further cementing Vancouver as one of the most active cities in the world.
     
    For more information, go to www.vanmarathon.ca

  • WHY I’M VOTING YES: DANI PRETTO

    Apr 07, 2015
    Dani Pretto

    I’ve seen congestion worsen growing up in Metro Vancouver, and a million more residents are expected over the next 30 years. The Canada Line provides a convenient way for our hotel guests to get downtown from YVR, but visitors from other cities expect a more comprehensive rapid transit system. We’ve got a great proposal on the table that will both encourage visitors to explore the city, and accommodate our growing population. I’m voting Yes because if we don’t take this opportunity now, we won’t get such a powerful and all-encompassing solution.
     
    Dani Pretto, General Manager, The Burrard Hotel

  • BIKE TO WORK WEEK | MAY 25TH TO 31ST

    Apr 02, 2015
    Bike to Work Week

    With increasing ridership each year, have you ever wondered what can cycling do for your business? Studies show that employees who cycle are happier & more productive! Start cultivating these benefits by participating in HUB Bike to Work Week!  

    • Host a HUB Workplace Cycling Workshop at your office & we’ll teach staff everything they need to start biking to work!
    • Register your business, join as a team & win more prizes, including a Trip for 2 to Europe! 
    • Visit one of the HUB celebration stations during the week for free coffee & snacks, bike tune-ups & prize giveaways!  

    Register for FREE at bikehub.ca.

    Don’t’ forget to like @WeAreHUB on Facebook@WeAreHUB on Twitter and use the Bike to Work Week hashtag #BTWW

  • OPEN FOR TRANSPORTATION

    Apr 02, 2015

    intro

    As a growing, diverse city centre, downtown Vancouver must meet the needs of all Vancouverites, not just a select few. According to a 2012 commissioned study, less than 45% of trips downtown are taken by car. That means public transit, cycling and walking have transformed how people travel to, and get around, the downtown.

    With all forms of transportation now accessible options, how do you get to downtown Vancouver? Hear from some of our members about why they chose the method they use.

    car2

    I drive

    Walt Judas, Tourism Vancouver

    “I prefer the comfort and convenience of my own car. I often attend evening events or don’t go straight home after work, so my car is the easiest and most efficient method of transportation.”

    * If you drive to work you’re in good company—80% of Canadians commute to work in their car.

    Driving in 2040: Want to drive downtown but hate searching for parking? As part of Transportation 2040, the City of Vancouver plans to provide real-time availability information for City-owned off-street parking with electronic signs and mobile apps.

    walk2

    I walk

    Jacqueline Dupuis, VIFF

    “I enjoy the walking lifestyle, because I get fresh air, exercise, and easy access to downtown amenities. Downtown Vancouver is very walkable and safe!”

    * Is your daily walk to work around 20 minutes long? In an average year you will cover the approximate distance from Vancouver to Jasper, Alberta!

    Walking in 2040: Vancouver’s seasonally wet weather can turn off pedestrians, which is why the city wants to make Vancouver more walkable in the rain with better awnings and fewer puddles.

    bike

    I ride my bike

    Erin O’Melinn, HUB Cycling

    “Cycling is the most efficient way to move around the downtown core, and I get to enjoy downtown's delicious food options a little bit more because I've already gotten my exercise in.”

    *Commute to your health! Cycling three hours or 30 kilometers per week halves your risk of heart disease and stroke.

    Cycling in 2040: Bike storage is a major hurdle for commuters, so the city wants to create at least one downtown bike centre with maintenance and end-of-trip facilities.

    bus

    I take public transit

    Nesrine Jabbour, Freedom55 Financial

    “I take the West Coast Express to avoid the traffic and I am in the office in 30 minutes door to door. It’s a very comfortable ride and I can get some work done.”

    *Believe it or not, the first Skytrain cars had carpet for added elegance, and they stayed that way until 1992.

    Public transit in 2040: To maximize Vancouver’s waterways, the city will support new passenger ferry services on False Creek, Burrard Inlet, and/or the Fraser River if there is a strong business case.

    20150222_100829

    I car share

    Elizabeth Han, Warrington PCI

    “I use Car2Go because it’s flexible – you can pick up and drop the car off almost anywhere, with reserved parkade stalls all across the downtown. The nearest car is often only five minutes away.”

    *Did you know that one shared car replaces up to 20 privately-owned vehicles?

    Car sharing in 2040: The City of Vancouver is going to pilot and evaluate a program where taxis can travel in bus lanes, and they may also include taxis in the TransLink Compass Card system.



    What's Next?

    Looking forward to the next 25 years, the City of Vancouver’s Transportation 2040 plan is working to maintain and improve all forms of transportation into the downtown core. However, without serious investments in public transportation infrastructure the livability we currently enjoy is at risk. Metro Vancouver is expected to grow by one million more residents over the next three decades. Saying 'no' to the congestion they will bring means voting 'yes' to the transportation referendum

    The referendum is your chance to ensure access and mobility in the downtown core remains world class.

     

  • CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL KICKS OFF

    Apr 01, 2015
    Cherry Fest


    UPDATE:
    Come check out the signature Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival event featuring a Blossom Bollywood dance performance, choreographed cherry petal kite show, and contests at the NEW location, Queen Elizabeth Plaza (650 Hamilton Street). The fun starts at Saturday April 18th gathering at 12:30pm for 1pm start until 2pm.

    Grab lunch at our Cherry Jam food trucks and settle in for a great concert featuring award-winning conductor Ken Hsieh conducting a Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra trio ensemble, the taiko and electric guitar duo LOUD, Langley Ukulele Ensemble, and national yo-yo champion, Harrison Lee.

    Then plan your cherry celebrations for the month: Bollywood meets Kite Dancing when both take over the Queen Elizabeth Plaza, 650 Hamilton Street (NOTE: New location) with a dance party on Saturday, April 18, from 1pm-2:30pm.  Learn hip new Bollywood moves with the SHIAMAK Dance Team. Kite designer extraordinaire Egan Davis will lead a kite dance with petal-inspired kites. Performances, Petal Mat Picnics, Contests and much more! 
     
    Don’t forget to share a cherry blossom moment on Twitter with the hashtags  #vcbf2015 and #ANA and win a trip for two to Japan courtesy of All Nippon Airways!
     
    Three cherry cheers to the DVBIA that has been a founding sponsor of the nine-year-old festival.



  • WHY I’M VOTING YES: TOM JAMES

    Mar 26, 2015


    Increasing SeaBus frequency by 50% will help connect our North Vancouver head office with our West Georgia retail outlet, and more transportation choices overall would cut down on employee commute times by 20 – 30 minutes per day. On a personal note, my son cycles, so I’d like to see an expanded network of bike lanes to improve safety. I’m voting Yes because I believe a strong balance is being proposed for the region. I encourage people to look at the big picture and ask: What kind of city do you want to live in?

    Tom James, Owner, Urban Tea Merchant

    Make your plan to vote today!
    http://www.bettertransit.info/make_a_plan

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